PSG boss: Why I subbed off Messi

Ligue 1

Mauricio Pochettino has revealed why he substituted Lionel Messi in Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 clash on Sunday night after the former FC Barcelona star appeared to be annoyed by the manager's decision. 

Messi ended an illustrious 21-year stay with the Catalan giants last month, joining the French giants as a free agent a few days later, but the 34-year-old seems to be experiencing a stuttering start to life in Paris.

The forward gained a reputation with the Blaugrana for being a goalscorer, but is yet to find the back of the net in three appearances for his new team.

Scroll through the gallery above to see PSG in action against Lyon

On Sunday, while PSG and Olympique Lyon were drawing 1-1 and with 14 minutes of normal time remaining, manager Pochettino made the big decision to remove Messi from the pitch for African star Achraf Hakimi, and the six-time Ballon d'Or winner did not appear to agree with the call to be taken off.   

Read: Messi's frustration at being subbed

In a post-match press conference, the Ligue 1 giants' head coach explained why he took Messi off.  

"Everybody knows we have great players, but one has to make choices. Sometimes decisions are positive or not, but that's why you have a manager: to make decisions," Pochettino told reporters, per sportingnews.

"You can agree with [a decision] or not. I asked [Messi] how he was and he said to me that he was OK, no problems. 

"Everybody knows that Messi is a great player. There are five subs [available] and it's obvious that players never like to come off the field.

"One has to make decisions. I'm on the bench to make decisions.

"His reaction? Fine, no worries." 

Here is Messi's reaction to being subbed on Sunday 

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